Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

See other formats

iv             THE MONGOL CATACLYSM          157
under Shiki Kutucu, who had been posted to protect the
operations of the main army. This stationing of protect-
ing troops proves that Chengiz was not merely an able
tactician, but also studied the military situation from the
strategical point of view.
When the two armies met, the right wing of Jalal-u-
Din, which fought on foot, was broken, but on being
reinforced it rallied, and night closed in on an undecided
issue. The following day the Mongol general gave orders
for a felt dummy to be tied on each spare horse to make
the enemy believe that reinforcements had been received.
This ruse was nearly successful, but Jalal-u-Din was a
fighting Sultan and inspired his men with such courage
that, after a repulse of the Mongols on foot the trumpets
sounded a general advance, and the hated foemen were
driven off the field, many of them being cut to pieces by
the victorious Persians. Most unfortunately the division
of the spoils provoked a quarrel which resulted in the
desertion of the Ghorid contingent, and Jalal-u-Din,
hearing that Chengiz was advancing on Ghazna, found
himself unable to hold the line of the Hindu Kush and
retreated towards Sind.
To avenge the death of a grandson, the Mongol
conqueror wiped Bamian out of existence, not even
allowing it to be plundered, but offering it up as a
holocaust to the slain prince. He then advanced on
Ghazna, which Jalal-u-Din had quitted a fortnight
previously, and made a forced march of such rapidity
that he overtook the Sultan on the borders of Sind, where
the latter was hoping for contingents to join him. Un-
willing to fight, Jalal-u-Din prepared to put the Indus
between his small force and the pursuing army, but he
was too slow and was hemmed in at early dawn. Fight-
ing in the centre with desperate heroism, he attempted
to break through, like a tiger charging a ring of elephants,
but in vain. At noon he mounted a fresh horse and
charged the Mongols ; when they gave way he suddenly
turned about, jumped from the high bank into the Indus,
and swam across. Chengiz showed himself magnani-
mous on this pccasion, and not only forbade arrows to be